It is believed that Daniel da Silva was trying to adapt the French croquet-monsieur to suit Portuguese tastes when he created this hefty sandwich in the 1960′s in Porto, Portugal. Francesinha is made to be eaten with a fork and knife since it is smothered in melted cheese and a tomato-beer sauce.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour
|2||cups||yellow onion, medium dice|
|1||tablespoon||cornstarch, mixed in 1/4 cup cold water|
|4||slices||beef, thinly sliced|
|4||slices||ham, thick sliced|
|8||slices||bread, thick sliced|
|to taste||black pepper|
|to taste||piri piri|
- Heat two tablespoons of the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for about 5 minutes, until the onions start to turn golden. Add the garlic and cook an additional minute before adding the bay leaf, chicken stock, beer, and tomato paste. Bring to a simmer and cook until the sauce is reduced by half, about 20 minutes. Strain the mixture and remove the onion, garlic and bay leaf. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and piri piri. Return to a simmer and whisk in the cornstarch. Simmer, whisking constantly until the sauce has thickened. If it gets too thick, add water to thin it back out. If it is too thin add more cornstarch.
- Season the beef with salt and pepper. Heat the remaining olive oil over medium heat. Add the beef to the pan and allow it to cook until golden brown on each side and fully cooked, then remove it from the pan and set aside to keep warm.
- Add the ham to the pan and allow it to cook until golden brown on each side, then remove from the pan and set aside to keep warm.
- Add the linguiça to the pan and cook until it is golden brown on all sides, turning it often. Remove it from the pan and set aside to keep warm.
- Meanwhile, Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Toast the bread and place 4 slices on a baking sheet. Top each piece of toast with ham, linguiça, beef, cheese and close the sandwich with another slice of toast. Cover the top and all four sides of the sandwiches with additional slices of cheese using toothpicks to hold them in place if needed. Place them in the oven for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the cheese starts to melt.
- Move the sandwiches onto serving plates, and pour the tomato sauce over the top. Serve immediately with a side of French fries.